WOW eNewsletter

Vol 5 Iss 6 June 2010

Quote of the Month

"Like farmers we must learn that we can't sow and reap the same day." - Unknown

How Do You Put a Price on That?

Do you have trouble charging what you deserve for your services? For most business owners setting a price point is not an issue. Since they sell a physical product, they usually are provided with both the wholesale and the suggested retail rates, at point of purchase. But, what about those of us whose only product is ourselves? A novice, service, business owner usually has no clue how to determine their rates.

Realize that your first consideration should be for time and then for training. Usually, there are also items like software or hardware costs that you should factor into this equation. What is the difference between a $3,000 and $100 design? It comes down to one thing, what's between their ears. How much experience do you already have? Your expertise is gained only after many years on the job. Did you just finish college or are you going out on your own after many years on the job?

As an example, an auto service professional fresh out of college has not yet trained their ear. Whereas, one who has been working with cars for many years will have the ability to listen to a car and immediately know where to look for the problem.

All that said; a new service business owner must begin their research by looking at the range for their profession. You don't want to under value yourself or you will end up feeling overwhelmed and abused. Not only that, your potential customers may become leery of the quality of service they can expect to receive.

For every profession there is a range that has been determined. One good place to find this information is through your profession's society, e.g., Accountants-The National Society of Accountants, Fee Study Report. Another resource you many find value in is your local college. A recruiter/counselor can usually give you a good idea what rates your field can bear.

Then there is the Internet. Check out or Look at your competition. They usually have a rates sheet either online or available for the asking. Don't be afraid to let them know you are doing this as research. They will either clam up, or be grateful that you won't devalue the profession by setting your self-worth at a ridiculously low rate.

Once you know the range how you determine which side of the range you are comfortable with is to look at the other items I mentioned earlier; software, hardware, experience, and expenses. Some will choose hourly rates, while others may work better with flat rates. This choice is up to you. As a graphic designer, I find that a combination of the two works best for my clients and me.

Know that with time and experience you will improve. At that time, you can and should reevaluate your fee structure. I suggest you do this at least once each year.

© 2010 Ginger Marks

Ginger Marks is the author of the 2009 & 2010 Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide, your business-marketing calendar of ideas available at in eBook and quarterly re-brandable booklets. To find out more about the WINning Sisters visit our website at Feel free to join us for the weekly chats hosted on Skype on Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST. To learn more about Ginger and her businesses visit or


Tip for Success

5 Tips for Renewing Yourself as a Leader

  • Take a time-out each day. Put a "Gone Thinking" sign on your door and don't let anyone disturb you.
  • Pursue hobbies and interests outside your business. They'll provide relaxation and may inspire creative ideas that you can feed back into the business.
  • Take a vacation or a sabbatical. (But first, make sure you leave the company in good hands!)
  • Spend time with your family. Kids provide a refreshing perspective.
  • Do something you've always wanted to do but never did-learn to build a house or take a course in acting.
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